I am a board-certified surgeon with advanced training in minimally invasive techniques (laparoscopy and robotic surgery). I am dedicated to applying my technical expertise and clinical interests primarily to patients with stomach (gastric) cancer and adrenal tumors.
I am a member of Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Gastric Disease Management Team — a multidisciplinary team of surgeons, medical oncologists, pathologists, and other medical professionals who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of gastric cancer. The combined expertise of our specialized team allows us to come up with the best plan for each patient.
In treating someone with stomach cancer, my goal is both to cure the patient of cancer and preserve his or her quality of life, both in the short and long term. I take all clinical data into account and select a surgical approach that has the greatest chance of accomplishing both goals.
In 2005, I introduced laparoscopic surgery as an option for patients with gastric cancer, and in 2009 I published the results of this approach in the Annals of Surgical Oncology. My research showed that the minimally invasive approach produces success rates comparable to those of traditional open surgery, with fewer complications, less blood loss and post-operative pain, and a shorter hospital stay. Laparoscopic surgery is an excellent approach for some, but not all, patients with the disease. I also developed a program in robotic gastrectomy in 2009, and apply this technique for selected patients. Results are promising and show decreased pain and quicker recovery for patients.
My research focuses not only on minimally invasive approaches and new technologies to better treat patients with gastric cancer, but also on molecular and genetic factors that may explain why some stomach cancers behave differently than others. I am particularly interested in differences in gastric cancer in the United States compared to Asian countries, and I am collaborating on an international level with gastric cancer surgeons in other countries to study this question. At Memorial Sloan Kettering, I am also working with pathologists and basic science researchers to study basic genetic factors that explain differences in certain types of gastric cancer, including questions relating to other gastric tumors, such as gastric gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) and gastric carcinoids.
On a national and international level, I am a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Esophageal and Gastric Advisory Group, which establishes the national guidelines for hospitals across the country regarding recommended standards to diagnose and treat gastric cancer. I have lectured at gastric cancer specialty meetings in Asia and Europe, including the International Gastric Cancer Congress (IGCC) Meeting in 2009, on novel research and minimally invasive surgery for this disease.
I also treat patients with adrenal tumors, and since 2005, I have overseen the adrenal database at Memorial Sloan Kettering, forming connections with endocrinologists, pathologists, and medical oncologists who share an interest in adrenal disorders. I have lectured internationally and published about laparoscopic adrenalectomy, which is the minimally invasive removal of tumors of the adrenal gland. I also treat patients with tumors that have metastasized from other primary sites to the adrenal gland, and have studied and published the collective experience of surgeons at Memorial Sloan Kettering to help better understand who is most suited for surgical removal of these tumors. I have also performed studies to define how patients with pheochromocytoma (a hormone-producing tumor of the adrenal gland) should be followed and how to determine if such tumors may recur.
Minimally invasive techniques may be appropriate for patients with cancerous and pre-cancerous disorders of the distal pancreas, spleen, and small intestine, and I have expertise in laparoscopic surgery for these problems as well.
I typically see new patients on Tuesdays at our 53rd Street location and operate on Mondays and Thursdays. I spend the remainder of my time conducting research, teaching, and lecturing. My contact information is listed below.
Working at a place like Memorial Sloan Kettering is a privilege and it is clear that the patients expect the very best from their physicians. It is gratifying to know you have helped a cancer patient through a part of their treatment and that you may have helped cure them. The hope is to allow people to return to normal life as soon as possible.
- Clinical Expertise: Minimally Invasive (Laparoscopic and Robotic) Expertise; Gastric Cancer; Tumors of the Adrenal Gland, Splenectomy, Small Intestine, Distal Pancreas and Hernias
- Languages Spoken: English
- Education: MD, Weill Cornell Medical College
- Residencies: New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center
- Fellowships: New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center and Cornell University
- Board Certifications: Surgery
“Lymphadenectomy for gastric cancer.” Strong VE. In: Master Techniques in Surgery: Gastric Surgery. Nussbaum MS, ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2012.
Research is integral to our mission at Memorial Sloan Kettering, and clinical trials help us discover better forms of patient care and treatment. For you, this could mean access to a new therapy or therapy combination. Click to see a list of the trials I’m currently leading.